US 3439634 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
L. BENDER TABLE BASE April 22, 1969 Shae t ofS Original Filed March 15, 1965 r HL-IBO wa INVENTOR LOUIS BENDEP ATTORNEYS.
April 22, 1969 L. BENDER 3,439,634
' TABLE BASE Original Filed March lS, 1965 Sheet 2 of 5 FIG. 4.
INVENTdR Y LOUIS BENDER ATTORNEYS.
L. BENDER TABLE BASE A r l 22, 1969 Sheet 3 or;
Original Filed March 15. 196 5 R E D J ms W5 ww L BY 1 M/ZM ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,439,634 TABLE BASE Louis Bender, Plainfield, N.J., assignor to Standard Plastic Products, Inc., South Plainfield, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Original application Mar. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 439,901, now Patent No. 3,319,958, dated May 16, 1967. Divided and this application Mar. 22, 1967, Ser. No. 625,194
Int. Cl. A47b 25/00, 19/00; B63d 15/00 U.S. Cl. 108-27 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A table base which includes an upper planar part with a marginal edge portion that is upwardly extending and downwardly concave which is joined to a lower planar part with a marginal edge portion that is downwardly extending and upwardly concave at the confronting planar surfaces and the confronting marginal edges.
CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of copending US. application Ser. No. 439,901, filed by me on Mar. 15, 1965, for Pool Table With Hollow Reinforcing Rim Constituting Pocket Connected Ball Conveying Means, now Patent No. 3,319,958.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates to a light weight vacuum formed table base.
SUMMARY The table base is formed of two opposed vacuum formed sheets of thermoplastic material. The upper sheet has a planar surface surrounded by an upwardly extending downwardly concave marginal edge portion. The lower sheet has a planar surface and a downwardly extending upwardly concave marginal portion. The planar surfaces of the two opposed sheets are in surface-to-surface relation and are connected as by adhesive. The outer edges of the two concave marginal edge portions are also connected.
Preferably, the lower planar surface is provided with longitudinally extending reinforcing ridges and also, more preferably, with transversely extending ridges as well.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pool table embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the pool table of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the bottom half of the pool table base;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5--5 in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is a front end view of the pool table.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, and particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, the pool table embodying the present "ice invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10. Pool table 10 includes a base 12 and a foldable or collapsible leg support structure 14. The base 12 is made of an upper portion 16 and a lower portion 18 which are joined together in a manner to be described hereinafter. The leg support structure 14 consists of two pairs of interconnected legs one pair being designated by the reference numeral 20 and the other by the reference numeral 22. Leg pair 20 includes two legs 24 and 26 which are integrally joined at their tops by a cross piece 148 (FIG. 3). Leg pair 22 includes two legs 28 and 30 which are integrally joined at their tops by a cross piece 156. Legs 24 and 26 are braced on each other by tie rods 32 and 34 and legs 28 and 30 are braced on each other by tie rods 36 and 38. The manner of securing the pairs of legs to the table base 12 will be described subsequently in this specification.
As previously stated, the base 12 of pool table 10 comprises an upper portion 16 and lower portion 18. Both upper and lower portions 16 and 18 are preferably vacuum formed from a suitable thermoplastic material such as, for example, polymethyl methacrylate; vinyls such as polyvinyl chloride, vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate copolymer; acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene plastics; styrene homopolymers and copolymers; polyolefins such as polyethylene, polypropylene, all of which may be filled or unfilled, and other suitable thermoplastic materials. The presently preferred material is styrene. Portions 16 and 18 could be otherwise formed such as by injection molding. As seen in FIG. 2, the upper portion 16 is provided with a rectangular planar surface portion 40 with an up wardly extending concave peripheral marginal portion 42. The peripheral marginal portion 42 is formed by an upwardly vertically extending marginal wall 44 which is bent into a short downwardly extending wall 46 that terminates in a horizontal surface 48 of short extent that is integral with another upwardly extending wall 50. The portions 46, 48 and 50 define a recess 52 for receiving the bumper 54 to be described in greater detail hereinafter. The upwardly extending peripherally continuous wall 50 terminates at its upper edge in an outwardly and downwardly extending surface 56 which at its lower edge (which is substantially coplanar with surface 40) is provided with an outwardly bent peripherally continuous marginal flange 58.
The lower base portion 18 includes a rectangular, horizontal surface portion 60 which is broken by a number of longitudinally extending V-shaped grooves 62 which are vacuum formed in the bottom portion 18 as by providing two downwardly and inwardly extending groove wall portions 64 and 66 which terminate in an integrally formed horizontal groove bottom 68. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, there are eight longitudinally extending grooves 62 although any suitable number may be provided. The purpose of the longitudinally ext-ending grooves 62 in the bottom horizontal surface 60 is to stiffen the bottom horizontal surface 60 against flexure in the longitudinal direction. The horizontal surface 60 is of substantially the same marginal extent as upper horizontal surface 40 and is surrounded by a downwardly extending concave peripherally continuous marginal portion 61 of line width as top concave portion 42. Concave portion 61 includes a downwardly extending wall portion 70 which curves at its bottom into a horizontally extending track forming portion 72. The left hand end of the track portion 72 as viewed in FIG. 2 is integrally connected with a downwardly extending wall 74 which in turn is integrally connected with the outer wall 76 having at its upper edge an outwardly extending flange 78 in surface-to-surface relation with the flange 58. The downwardly extending portion 74 and the lower part of the outer wall 76 of bottom 18 form a skirt 80, the purpose of which is to give a uniform height to the entire base 12 of the pool table notwithstanding the fact that portion 72 of the base 18 slants from the rear end of the table to the front. This slanted track is designated on one side of the central receiving portion or station 82 by the reference numeral 84 and on the other side by the reference numeral 86.
As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the central ball receiving recess or station 82 is formed substantially wholly inthe bottom portion 18 of base 12 and has a base portion 88 and a rear wall portion 91 both of which are formed integrally with the bottom 18. The base 88 is shown disposed below the bottom of the skirt 80 formed by the downwardly extending wall portion 74 and the outer wall 76'. A large aperture 90 is provided in the side wall 76 of the front 92 of the base 12, which aperture 90 is adapted to permit the insertion of a players hand for the removal of balls from ball receiving station 82. It will be seen that the ball tracks 84 and 86 are in direct communication with the central ball receiving station 82 and, as will be understood more fully hereinafter, as balls move down the tracks 84 and 86 they will drop into the central ball receiving station 82 (FIG. 4). As seen in FIG. 1, in the top portion 16 of base 12, principally in the upwardly extending marginal concave portion 42, are six ball receiving apertures or pockets 94, 96, 98, I100, 102 and 104, a small portion of each of which is provided in the horizontal surface 40 of top portion 16. That part of each of the pockets 94 to 104, inclusive, which extend through the marginal concave portion 42 of top '16 are defined by arcuate vertically extending walls 106, 108, 110, 112, 114 and 1116, respectively. Each of the apertures 94 to 104, when the base is assembled in the manner to be described hereinafter, is in register with track 84 or 86 in the bottom part 18.
As is customary with all quality pool tables, cushions are provided along the marginal wall 44 of the playing surface of the pool table to permit balls impinging against said marginal wall to bounce therefrom in accordance with the play of the game. One of the .major problems that has been encountered in previous inexpensive pool tables is that of obtaining suflicient bounce or resiliency in the cushions. In accordance with the present invention the cushions 54 are made of a suitable highly resilient material such as rubber or neoprene or, preferably, ethylene copolyrner in an extruded form having a substantially rectangular base portion 118 with an inwardly directed horizontal portion 120 which terminates in a downwardly curving lip 122 located to fend a ball 124 off from the wall 44 and to impart to any ball impinging thereagainst substantial bounce. Of course, the cushion could be injection molded. The rectangularly cross sectioned base portion 118 is of slightly larger transverse dimension than the width of the bumper receiving cavity 52 so that when it is forced into the cavity 52, it will remain so positioned by virtue of friction. That is, it is press-fitted into cavity or groove 52. Of course, other means of securing the bumper to the table may be employed such as adhesives, staples, screws, etc. Moreover, base portion 1118 need not be solid as shown. It could be grooved if desired. Pocket deflectors 107, 109, 111, 113, 115 and 117 may be provided at the upper edge of each of the arcuate downwardly extending wall portions 106 to 116 respectively surrounding the pockets 94 to 104, respectively, which deflectors are shaped to deflect any ball impinging thereagainst downwardly to insure that a ball being bit into a pocket will not bounce out of that pocket. To provide a suitable surface for the pool playing a piece of felt is glued to the upper surface of horizontal base portion 40 and, preferably, to the upwardly extending vertical marginal wall portion 44. The felt surface is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 and is designated by the reference numeral 126.
To construct a pool table base 12 in accordance with the aforedescribed structure, a sheet of suitable thermoplastic material is placed in a mold for forming the top part 16, the sheet of thermoplastic material is heated and a vacuum is drawn to cause the upper part 16 to be formed as previously described. After cooling and removal from the mold, the six apertures .94 to 104 defining the pockets are punched out of the sheet. Thereafter, the felt which has been precut to conform to the shape of the rectangular playing surface, as modified by the pockets 94 to 104, is laid over the surface which has been theretofore suitably coated with an adhesive and is accordingly glued to the top surface of horizontal support 40 and to the vertically extending marginal wall 44. Then the cushions 54 are placed between the pockets 94 and 96, 96 and 98, 98 and 100, 100 and 102,1102 and 104, and 104 and 94 by pressing their rectangular base portions 54 into the recess 52 in the concave part 42 of the upper base portion 16. The arcuate downwardly acting deflectors 107, 109, 111, 113, and 117 are similarly connected around their associated pockets.
In a parallel operation, the bottom part 18 of base 12 is also vacuum formed in a conventional manner from a thermoplastic sheet in accordance with the aforedescribed construction. After removal from the vacuum forming mold, the aperture 90 in the central ball receiving station 82 is punched or otherwise cut out of the front wall of the bottom part 18, that is, wall 92.
In accordance with the present invention the upper and lower parts \16 and 18 are now joined. The joining of these two parts is accomplished by coating the lower surface of horizontal portion 40 and, if desired, the upper surface of horizontal portion 60, with a suitable adhesive such as, for example, epoxy, rubber resin contact cement, and so forth. After the adhesive is applied to portion 40, the horizontal portion 60 of bottom part 18 is pressed into adhering relation therewith, the two parts being aligned so that their outwardly extending flanges 58 and 78 are in register around the entire periphery of the table base 12. At the completion of the gluing step the top and bottom portions 16 and 18, respectively, are joined at their flanges 58 and 78 in any suitable fashion such as by adhesives or rivets or the like. Preferably, however, the joining of these two flanges is accomplished by means of staples 128. After stapling of the flanges 58 and 78 around the entire marginal extent thereof is accomplished, a
resilient protector with a V-shaped cross section may be disposed about both joined flanges to provide for protection and improved appearance. This V-shaped member is herein designated by the reference numeral 130. Of course, other means, such as metal channels, may be employed to cover the connected flanges 58 and 78.
By providing two relatively thin plastic sheets in laminar adhering relation, as is true of the parts 40 and 60 of the top and bottom portions 16 and 18 of base 12, and by surrounding these glued together surfaces by a hollow marginal box-like portion 132 [defined by the upwardly extending concave portion 42 of top 16 and the downwardly extending concave portion 61 of the bottom 18 which portion 61 is defined by the wall portions 70, 72', 74 and 76 previously described, a construction is achieved which yields great rigidity of the playing surface of the pool table, notwithstanding the considerable flexibility of the component parts. This rigidity is not materially weakened by the provision of the apertures 94 to 104 for the pockets of the pool table nor by the provision of the aperture 90 for the central ball receiving station in the bottom of the base 12.
As previously noted, the pockets 94 to 104 register with the tracks 84 and 86. It has also previously been stated that the tracks 84 and 86 slope toward the central ball receiving station 82. That is, the tracks 84 and 86 slope from the rear 134 of the table to the front 92 of the table so that balls dropping into, for example, the pocket 100 will drop into the track 86 which slopes toward the central ball receiving station 82 whereby to cause the ball to roll down the track 86 and into said ball receiving station.
A suitable scoring means may be provided on the table 10. As shown in FIG. 5 the scoring means 125 are disposed at the front 92 on upwardly extending concave portion 42. Scoring means 125 includes two rotatable discs 127 with indicia 0 to 9 on each and an index means to indicate the appropriate numerical indicia. Other scoring means may be employed.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, in accordance with another feature of the present invention, the transverse rigidity of the base 12 can be increased by the provision of several transversely extending grooves in a manner similar to the longitudinal grooves 62 previously described. The transverse grooves are here shown as four in number, and are designated by the reference numerals 136, 138, 140 and 142. It will be seen that grooves 136 and 138 are in the nature of a closely spaced pair with an upwardly extending depression or recess 144 therebetween. Likewise, the grooves 140 and 142 are a closely spaced pair with a recess 146 therebetween. The recesses 144 and 146 may be employed as a means for attaching the leg pairs 20 and 22 to the bottom of the base 12. This is most conveniently effected by forming the legs 24 and 26 as the vertically extending parts of integral U-shaped leg assembly 20 having a horizontal part 148, which horizontal part 148 fits into the groove 144 with some clearance and which is held in the groove for rotation as by two straps 150 and 152 both of which are connected to the bottoms of transverse grooves 136 and 138 by any suitable means such as by bent over upstruck portions, or rivets or the like. Such connecting means is designated by the reference numeral 154. Likewise, the legs 28 and 30 are vertically extending parts of a U-shaped leg assembly 22 in which the horizontal portion is designated by the reference numeral 156 which horizontal part is received with some clearance inside of the space 146 between the two transverse grooves 140 and 142. Suitable strap means 158 and 160 overlie the horizontal portion 156 of the U-shaped leg assembly to hold the horizontal part 156 in the recess 146 for rotation therein. The straps are connected by means 154 previously described.
It will be seen that the two leg assemblies are pivotally mounted on the base 12 of the pool table. This provides for a complete collapse of the pool table if desired. However, when "the pool table is to be in useable condition with the legs in the condition shown in FIG. 1, means must be provided to releasably hold the two leg assemblies in such condition. These means are angularly extending rods 162, 164, 166 and 168 which are pivotally connected respectively to the legs 24, 26, 28 and 30. The free ends of each of the rods 162 to 168 are provided with transversely inturned portions 170 which are adapted to fit into apertures 172 in the vertically extending part of angle brackets 174 secured to the bottom surface of horizontal portion 60 0f the bottom part 18 of base 12. As shown herein the means for securing the angle brackets 174 are rivets 176 although, clearly, other securing means of the rods themselves. With the in bent end portions so disposed in the apertures 172 the legs are held in fixed vertical position. When, however, it is desired to put the table away, as in a closet or the like, all that need be done is to flex the inturned end portions of the rods 162 to 168 out of the apertures 172 of the angle brackets 174 thereby unlocking the legs and permitting the folding of the legs into substantial surface-to-surface relation with the bottom of base 12. It should be noted that in accordance with the presently preferred construction, each of the legs 24 to 30 inclusive is provided with an adjustable foot 178 which is threadedly mounted in a suitable fixture 180 pressed into the bottom of each of the legs. By providing the adjustable feet 178 good leveling can be achieved for the playing surface of the table.
Of course, if desired, the leg assembly 14 can be completely deleted without departing from the present invention. That is to say, the base 12 can be employed by itself as on a suitable support such as a kitchen table or the like.
From the foregoing description it will be seen that I have devised a novel pool table which is comprised mainly of two thin sheets of relatively flexible thermoplastic material which have been vacuum formed. When the vacuum formed sheets are joined together, they form a central planar support surface and a box-like marginal portion surrounding the support surface. The assembled structure is extremely rigid and substantially nonwarping. This construction is inexpensive to fabricate and extremely light weight thereby making it readily portable or storable. In addition, I have provided a new and improved cushion for a pool table, which bumper gives substantial bounce due to its special li-p construction. Further, I have provided means for stiffening my table construction by providing longitudinal ridges and transverse ridges, the latter of which also provide means for mounting folding legs thereon. All of these features are accomplished with a minimum of labor and materials in an inexpensive fashion to yield a very low cost, light weight, readily rotatable, readily storable pool table.
While I have shown and described the preferred form of the present invention and have suggested modifications therein, other changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A table base, comprising an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion comprising a horizontal planar part surrounded by an upper marginal portion, said lower portion comprising a lower horizontal planar part surrounded by a lower marginal portion, the outer peripheral extent and shape of said upper and lower marginal portions being substantialy the same, at least one of said marginal portions having a substantially continuous concavity extending away from the other marginal portion, means for connecting said horizontal parts to one another, and means for connecting said outer peripheries of said marginal portions to one another in surface-to-surface relation.
2. The table base of claim 1, wherein the recited parts of said upper portion are integrally formed, and the recited parts of said lower portion are integrally formed.
3. The table base of claim 1, wherein said upper marginal portion is shaped upwardly concave and said lower marginal portion is shaped downwardly concave.
4. The table base of claim 3, in which said horizontal portions are in close confronting relation, and the means for connecting said horizontal portions is adhesive, and the means for connecting the outer peripheries of said marginal portions in surface-to-surface relation is distributed along said outer periphery.
5. A table base, comprising an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion comprising a horizontal planar part surrounded by a marginal portion, said lower portion comprising a lower horizontal planar part sur- 7 rounded by a lower marginal portion, the outer peripheral extent and shape of said upper and lower marginal portions being substantially the same, at least one of said marginal portions having a substantially continuous concavity extending away from the other marginal portion, means for connecting said horizontal parts to one another, and means for connecting said outer peripheries of said marginal portions to one another, said lower horizontal planar part having a plurality of depending longitudinally extending ridges.
6. The table base of claim 5, wherein said lower horizontal planar part is further provided with a plurality of transversely extending ridges.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Correale et a1 273-11 Allinger 273-11 Bishop 273-6 X Proust 273-3 McCool 273-11 Allman 273-7 Santiage 273-9 X BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner.
G. O. FINCH, Assistant Examiner.
@33 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,439,634 Dated April 22, 1969 Inventor(s) L. Bender It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
[ Column 6, line 74, "a marginal" should read an upper v marginal SlGNED ANU SEALED OCT 21 1969 (SEAL) Attest:
WILLIAM E. BOHUYLER, JR. Edward M-jig Ir Gonmissionezo1 Pat-ants Attesting oer